on July 7, 2012
I love a good romance where the heroine falls in love with a handsome ghost. But in this romance the ghost is a cranky older man with thinning hair. Add a so-sad background story and you have a story that tugs at your heartstrings. Just like the novel Ghost and Mrs. Muir, there are complications in loving a ghost.
The story is one you will want to read in one sitting. Side characters had depth and storylines of their own. Loved the dogs who had personalities of their own. Even went to the internet to get a visualization of this particular breed.
Even though I did enjoy this book, I had to give it only 4 stars because of the ending. I just didn't like it. I was looking for something more and felt like I was left wondering where the story could have ended up if it had had an alternate ending.
on October 24, 2012
I just finished this story and I'm not really sure how I feel about it. A couple of other reviews liken it to The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, and there is a definate similarity but.........
how come they could touch? What will happen when she dies? He is the age he died forever, if she doesn't die until she is old, does she become a young ghost? I was expecting the author to go into exactly how they could actually 'be together' while Jennifer was still living
It held my attention, I wanted to see how it ended, but I wish the ending was different, I kind of felt like it was a little rushed,and I was left with too many questions.
on October 27, 2012
I've been reading a lot of ghost stories lately and I thought I would like this one since it was a romance. I was quite disappointed.
When her mother becomes ill and passes away, Jennifer is left a house far up the coast in a small little town that she had never even heard of. She decides to visit the old house. What she finds is a house overlooking the ocean, a seaside house full of promise and stories. Oh, and one other thing--a ghost.
The house had been boarded up for years and previous tenants of the house had run away screaming, never to return. But when Jennifer gets to the house, she finds it warm and inviting. She decides to move to the quaint house on the cliff.
What she doesn't know is that the owner of the house, Paul Squire, still resides there. She smells his presence when he has been smoking his pipe, and a book that she had put away was now lying a different way then the way she had put it back on the shelf.
When her friend Sue comes for a visit from San Francisco, they go for a walk where they meet a man named Ross. While back at Jennifer's house, they visit the attic where they find some old paintings that had been painted by Paul. One of the paintings is of a woman that resembles Jennifer. Sue and Ross are amazed at how much she looks like Jennifer, but she refuses to believe it.
She knows she isn't alone but when Paul decides to "show" himself to her, she is a little taken aback, thinking that someone had broken into her home. He argues with her that this was his home, not hers.
Many a quarrel ensues between Jennifer and Paul, and many times Paul becomes so upset that he leaves the house, leaving her alone, refusing to show himself. Jennifer actually begins to miss him when he leaves her.
At Thanksgiving, she invites the lawyer, Sue, Sue's boyfriend Brent, and Ross to her house for a meal. She adamently made Paul promise that he wouldn't do anything that might frighten everyone. While Sue is still in bed, Brent tries to kiss Jennifer. Of course, Paul sees this and leaves her alone again.
Can a human love a ghost? Can a ghost love a human? You'll have to read this one to find out.
I was a little disappointed in this book actually. The writing was mediocre at best, and I found myself tending to skip ahead a few paragraphs to find out what was going to happen next instead of reading through every word like a good book would make you. I found myself wishing that something would happen between Paul and Jennifer, but I was just left wanting. I think what was lacking in this book was a good dose (or doses) of sexual tension. There was none.
Also, since the writing was mediocre, I found myself dwelling on the editing errors in it, disrupting the flow of the novel with each spelling error or missing word. I just think that the novel could have been better.
I give this book 2 stars.
on July 23, 2013
I am not normally a paranormal reader but this novella held my interest. I would have enjoyed a longer book, but then this is a lovely story. Ms Pence is a very talented writer. She created a terrific plot and shows characters who are well developed.
Jennifer has just lost her mother. Her mother was not a very nice mother to her and her self confidence is low. Jennifer has found that her mother inherited a house in Northern California. She decides that she will move there and try to live a new life.
The town is very small and charming. The house is beautiful. The house just happens to have a history of people being frightened off by a ghost.
The ghost is Paul. He built the house for a woman he loved over 150 years before. He died at about the same time the house was brand new.
Rather than frightening Jennifer away from the house, he likes her. The two of them share similar interests and she reminds him of his lost love.
There are many interesting aspects of this story. I do not want to share too much and give away anything. Let it be said, the characters are sweet and loving. There are no really bad people in the story. The secondary story is an interesting one.
Generally, I can recommend this book to people who enjoy a sweet and tender romance.
on September 6, 2012
This book was a quick read with a cute story line, interesting plot and character development. Was it a ghost story though? I think the author bent our accepted paranormal beliefs until she could wrap the plot around a ghost story to appeal to readers of that genre. If she had written about a handsome, intelligent recluse whom the female lead decides to share a home, and later her heart with the author may not have had as many readers. This forced plot manuever did not stop me from finishing the book. If it had been a paperback I would have gladly traded it at my local coffee shop for a new one as soon as I'd finished it.
on April 2, 2014
First the good-the great, even. Paul Squire, our ghost. Paul was a Victorian era gentleman and painter who was in love with a girl, a very long time ago. I don't want to give anything away, but things didn't end well. Since his death, he's been hanging out in his house, scaring away all of his distant relatives in turn as they inherit the house.
Enter Jennifer Barrett, his latest heir. She loves the house, moves in, gets two big dogs and makes herself at home. The curmudgeonly Paul find one excuse after another not to chase her away, one of the reasons being that Jennifer is the spitting image of his lost love. He decides he likes her and reveals himself to her.
This get complicated when Jennifer has to juggle her relationship with Paul with hiding his presence from her friends Sue, Sue's boyfriend Brent, and a down the road neighbor, Russ. I was fine up to that point. Sue was a bit of a ditz, but some people are, so that's okay. Her boyfriend Brent was a good looking creep who's hitting on Jennifer and Russ is mooning after Sue. Paul realizes he's in love with Jennifer and figures he isn't her best option for a mate and drives her away. And what did she do? She went, for Brent. I couldn't understand this at all. Paul had been able to touch her. Even pulled her off up the rocks when she slipped and nearly went down a cliff. He could make himself appear to people whenever he wanted to. I was astounded at his capacity for being Only Mostly Dead. I bet they could have found an open minded clergyman to marry them if they'd wanted to. So there was that, Jennifer's sudden change of personality.
Then there was this. Paul spoke the way that a Victorian era gentleman would speak, that was great. But Jennifer's speech was just plain stilted. It came to me somewhere in the middle that her speech sounded the way you might sound in a written letter rather than actual speech.
As a ghost story, it was pretty good. As a love story, it could've been a lot better.
on April 16, 2013
I really enjoyed this story. It ended way too soon and I'd love to give Ms. Pence a challenge to write a sequel. Jennifer and Paul spend Jennifer's life together, with lots of story lines in-between and how Paul always protects her until it's her time to go. Then give it a happy "Somewhere In Time" ending. Where the two walk off hand in hand into the heavens. Ms Pence are you up to the challenge? :) Meanwhile, I'll check out some of your other books.
on November 11, 2014
Not my favorite. I just can't understand the desire to live with a ghost or desire a "relationship" with one. Yes, I can see that this story is very similar to the Ghost and Mrs. Muir. I know the show but never cared to watch it. However, you can't fault others from enjoying this story as they may be too young to have ever seen the show.
The characters were not fleshed out enough for me to even care about them. I was more interested in her best friend and her new love story than with the main character. This is not one I will be sharing with others.
on May 8, 2013
Now, let me disclose that I did not have to pay for my copy of this book. I got it while the kindle edition was free for 24 hours. Because it was free one lowers the bar on expectations. Unfortunately, that doesn't help.
Obviously this woman is aware of the Ghost and Mrs. Muir. There are quite a number of similarities, anyone who tried to deny those would be disingenuous. The shame is that it doesn't help.
The premise is that a single woman, running away from a boring, unfulfilled life moves into a home haunted by the spirit of the original owner. She is a drab, mousy, loner who has unresolved mommy issues and spends most of her time convincing herself that she is unworthy. The namby-pamby waffling is annoying. . The character is inconsistent, as is the authors writing. The ghost of Squire house is a cranky, middle-aged man who has spent almost a hundred years scaring would be owners away. We NEVER learn WHY he haunts the house or why the heroine can see him or looks like his lost love or how they manage to touch.
There is very little character development and as a result one doesn't care who ends up with who, or why. The woman professes attachment and explains she knows what kind man he was by studying the things in the house. Wouldn't it be great if we could learn everything we need to know about new acquaintances just by looking at their swag? That would DEFINITELY save me a lot of heartache.
There are two secondary male characters who are introduced as love interests of the heroins best friend. One of them inexplicably falls in love with our main character. In fact he is stalking her. We are never given an explanation about him and his extremely creepy behaviour and the way she resolves the problem is unrealistic. Frankly, the entire book is unrealistic. The other secondary character comes upon the main character and her best friend somewhere while they are exploring her new neighbourhood. The women assume he is a labourer on the farm nearby and basically write him off, that is until we learn he is the owner and worth a great deal of money. We are even introduced to his elderly mother. Why she is introduced is a mystery as she really does nothing to move the story along.
The ghost of Squire House is, at the beginning, a cranky, inhospitable oaf who insults our "heroine" at every opportunity. The narrow minded, misogynistic rants he embarks on take on Edward Mulhare's (star of the 1947 Ghost and Mrs Muir movie) accent and inflections, because it is so like the movie script and the book it was based on. We learn that our heroine is the image of his lost love but we are to believe that this has nothing to do with him falling in love with her. We NEVER learn why he is stranded in his home or why she looks like his lost love, one supposes that there is some sort of karma lesson to be learned but it is never addressed. We never learn why they are able to touch or how a romance between a live person and a ghost is possible.
It is an interesting premise. There are so many possibilities to be explored and it could be incredibly romantic- tragic, star crossed lovers and all that. The entire story never delves below the surface. Very little plot development. In fact, there really is no plot. One continually asks oneself what the point of the story is. One is never given an answer.
The editing is really bad. There are a number of incorrectly spelled words as well as grammar and punctuation problems. The biggest editing issue is in the use of incorrect pronouns and continuity. There are several passages that refer to the wrong person. For instance, a paragraph about our heroine inexplicably refers to the gentleman or uses a masculine pronoun when it should be using her name.
I read this while sitting next to my father's hospital bed. With long hours to fill and concerns to try to ignore, one will try just about anything. I kept reading because I hoped it would get better but it never did. This is NOT a book worthy of 4 or 5 stars. It is a superficial story that never explains the motivation for anything that happens. We are given little to no background information and when we do get it we never learn what effect it has on the story or the characters. The characters are utterly forgettable. The end is abrupt, almost as if the author just got tired of writing it or couldn't think of anything else to add so she just gave up.
I understand that this is one of several books written by this author. I have no intention of ever reading any of the others.
This book is so like Josephine Leslie's The Ghost and Mrs Muir that it is impossible to believe no one noticed. Unfortunately it does not employ snappy dialogue or humour or, for that matter, the gothic melodrama the premise lends itself to-all reasons Ms. Leslie's book was made into a wonderful film classic-and the book fails, utterly, because of it. One other insignificant complaint-WHY does the cover have Michael Douglas's face superimposed over the house and lawn with a pipe in his mouth? Am I the ONLY one who sees that?
on March 3, 2014
This very much reminds me of the 1947 classic film The Ghost and Mrs. Muir which I saw more than 20 years ago and absolutely loved. It is witty, romantic, mysterious and full of a sense of nostalgia. I found the protagonist, Jennifer, simply lovely. Perhaps that may be in part due to my being able to relate so well with her. Somewhat reclusive, pensive, vulnerable, modest, a bit on the shy and submissive side yet deeply passionate, she lives on a deeper level that resonates well with the solitary old house by the sea.